Ermey passed away from complications of pneumonia, Bill Rogin, Ermey’s long-time manager, said in a statement on Twitter.
“It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us,“ Rogin wrote.
Marine Icon, R. Lee Ermey dies at 74
1 of 14 R. Lee Ermey, known to most fans simply as the ÒThe GunnyÓ was host of The Sportman ChannelÕs series ÒSaving Private K-9.Ó (Photo courtesy Sportsman Channel.)
2 of 14Actor R. Lee Ermey, portraying "Gunnery Sgt. Hartman," yells at new Marine recruits in this scene from the 1987 movie "Full Metal Jacket" directed by Stanley Kubrick. Army died Sunday, April 15, 2018. He was 74. (AP Photo)
3 of 14Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, on the set of Full Metal Jacket playing the sadistic drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman. (Photo courtesy R. Lee Ermey's agent Bill Rogin)
4 of 14Retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey visits with Sailors and Marines aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (MCSN Chad R. Erdmann/Navy)
5 of 14R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. (Photo courtesy New Line Cinema)
6 of 14R. Lee Ermey bends down to talk with Bryant Teat, 4 of Pell City Alabama who wore full military camo to the event, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in Hoover, Ala.. Movie and TV actor R. Lee Ermey is visiting Hoover Tactical Firearms for a two day meet and greet Friday and Saturday February 10-11, 2012. Ermey , a retired U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant is best known for his role as gunnery sergeant Hartmant in the movie Full Metal Jacket. He was also the host of two History channel TV shows "Mail Call and Lock N Load". . (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Joe Songer)
7 of 14Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, as a young Marine in the 1960s. He was medically retired after injuries sustained in Vietnam and went on to launch his acting career by playing Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, the sadistic drill instructor in Stanley Kubrick's classic movie Full Metal Jacket. (Photo courtesy R. Lee Ermey's agent Bill Rogin)
8 of 14Actor and Marine Corps icon Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey gives an "Oorah" over the ship's 1MC to Marines and Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. Ermey visited the USS Iwo Jima as a Moral, Welfare and Recreation event for deployed troops during the holiday season. (Cpl. Patrick M. Johnson-Campbell/Marines)
9 of 14Retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey visits with Sailors and Marines aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (MCSN Chad R. Erdmann/Navy)
10 of 14Caption: R. Lee Ermey, known to most fans simply as the ÒThe GunnyÓ was host of The Sportman ChannelÕs series ÒSaving Private K-9" back in 2014. (Photo courtesy Sportsman Channel.)
11 of 14Actor and Marine Corps icon Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey hands Cpl. Trevor J. Blackburn, assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a small American flag aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. The flag was sent from residents of Elnora, Ind., as a token of thanks after the Marines and Sailors from the 26th MEU helped reinforce the town's levees during a flood earlier this year. Ermey visited the USS Iwo Jima as a Moral, Welfare and Recreation event for deployed troops during the holiday season. (Cpl. Patrick M. Johnson-Campbell/Marine)
12 of 14R. Lee Ermey often plays the role of Marine drill instructor which he made famous in Full Metal Jacket.
13 of 14 Retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey takes a break for a smoke outside New River Air Station's Staff NCO club, Monday, May 15, 2006, in Jacksonville, N.C. When people meet Ermey, the first thing they realize is his show-stopping turn as a Marine Corps drill instructor in the movie "Full Metal Jacket" wasn't an act. His military show on the History Channel, "Mail Call," has come to New River to tape a segment on the MV-22 Osprey. Between takes, Ermey is spending some time eating chow and chatting with Marines. (AP Photo/The Daily News, Randy Davey)
14 of 14A public appearance by Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, retired Marine who played the iconic Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, the sadistic drill instructor in Stanley Kubrick's classic movie Full Metal Jacket. (Photo courtesy R. Lee Ermey's agent Bill Rogin)
In a statement to Marine Corps Times, Rogin added that nobody was prepared for the “terrible loss” of Ermey.
“He has meant so much to so many people. And it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform,” Rogin said. “He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever.”
Ermey “was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him. And, he especially cared deeply for others in need.”
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Rogin asked Ermey’s fans to honor him with “hope and kindness,” and by supporting the men and women in the military.
“That’s what he wanted most of all,” Rogin said.
Ermey is best known for his pivotal role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket.” He would go on to star in television shows and inspire Marines everywhere.
The role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman earned Ermey a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor and led to dozens more on-screen appearances and several off-screen ones, where he provided voices for characters in the “Toy Story” franchise, “The Simpsons” and other properties.
The drill instructor that made "Full Metal Jacket" famous has claimed this year's Battle Bracket crown.
He also hosted Outdoor Channel’s ” GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey” and ” Military Makeover,” from the producers of Lifetime’s “Designing Spaces.”
He also wrote a book and established a million-strong Facebook following.
Ermey, a former drill instructor, served from 1961 to 1972. He left the Marine Corps as a staff sergeant, and later received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant from then-Commandant Gen. James Jones in 2002.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.